ASU football senior DE Michael Matus out for season due to knee injury
TEMPE — Arizona State Sun Devils defensive end Michael Matus will miss the entire 2022 season due to a knee injury, head coach Herm Edwards announced on Monday.
The redshirt senior was seen at practice on Friday in a knee brace and using one crutch to help him walk around the field after suffering a left ACL tear during practice on Wednesday. In fact, Matus played five plays on the injured knee after what he called a “random play.”
The loss will be a huge blow to not only defensive line coach Robert Rodriguez’s unit from a defensive line and pass rush standpoint, but also from a leadership perspective, as the honorary captain has been at ASU since 2018 — the same year Edwards took over head coaching duties.
“We’ll lose him for the year,” Edwards said. “He’s done for the year. He’ll travel, he’s going to be an honorary captain. … That’s a big loss for us in a lot of ways obviously, not just as a football player but as a leader.
“His grit and being on the field, he has a lot of experience — we’re going to miss that in him. He’s going to be like a coach now. He’s excited about being able to go with the team. That’s a hard one for a fifth-year senior.”
New defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson said at the beginning of fall camp that the defensive line would have to be the “catalyst” for the Arizona State defense if it wanted to repeat as the best in the Pac-12 and No. 13 in the nation in total defense (yards allowed).
In 28 career games played in a Sun Devil uniform, Matus garnered 41 tackles (21 solo), 9.0 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, two passes defended, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
Last season was by far the defensive end’s best in Tempe. He compiled 28 tackles (15 solo) and 5.5 tackles for loss to go along with 0.5 sacks and one fumble recovery in 12 games played.
The injury marks the second consecutive year in which Arizona State has lost one of its premier pass rushers before the month of October after DE Travez Moore suffered a season-ending ACL injury against BYU in Week 3 and defensive tackle Jermayne Lole was lost for the year during the preseason with a biceps injury.
With Matus no longer available for Rodriguez to deploy on the defensive line this year, Arizona State will now have to heavily rely on the likes of defensive linemen Travez Moore and Joe Moore.